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Posted on: January 10, 2019

2018 Bloomfield Crime Statistics Show Crime Way Down

BPD

BLOOMFIELD, NJ -- The Bloomfield Police Department saw a significant decrease in both violent and nonviolent crimes in 2018, continuing a positive multi-year trend that shows enforcement and awareness campaigns are working as intended.

The FBI’s Uniform Crime Reports (UCR) classify Part I violent crimes as: murder, rape, robbery, aggravated assault, burglary, theft, auto/motor vehicle theft, and arson. Bloomfield Police report 700 Part I crimes committed in 2018, down from 839 such crimes in 2017. 

The number of Part I crimes committed in Bloomfield had soared to 1,212 in 2014, following consecutive yearly increases, and threatened to continue rising for years, before the Township of Bloomfield hired former Newark Police Director Samuel DeMaio as Bloomfield Police Director (now Director of Public Safety) at the beginning of 2015. DeMaio instituted changes including community policing, strategically assigning officers shifts during the evening hours, meeting daily with police commanders, utilizing crime analysis, crime mapping and predictive policing and demanding more transparency. 

“Bringing Director DeMaio on is one of my proudest achievements as Mayor, and a move that immediately paid dividends, as his leadership completely restructured the culture and tactics of the Police Department,” said Mayor Michael Venezia. “Lower crime rates, higher case closures rates, and fewer negative interactions between citizens and police officers make our town a more desirable place to raise a family and recreate.”

Since 2014, the number of Part I crimes has fallen 28, 4, 1 and 17 percent, respectively, for a 50% decrease. Within that time span, the most dramatic type of crime reduction was the number of robberies, down from 72 in 2014 to 19 in 2018, a 74% decrease. Burglaries are down 68% during that four year stretch, and theft and motor vehicle theft are also down by nearly 50%.

“Reconstituting the Police Department with a greater emphasis on working with the community has lead to more positive encounters with citizens through public forums, roll calls, and involvement with public school students and their parents. In the last four years, we brought the number of part I crimes down from 1,212 to 700. That’s 512 fewer victims of crime, which we were able to achieve by reinforcing the culture of public service and respect for the communities we serve,” said Director of Public Safety Samuel DeMaio. “Our priorities are keeping our communities safe while reducing crime and increasing citizen satisfaction. The crime stats speak for themselves as do the fewer citizen complaints. Any time you have enforcement campaigns, you are going to find a few people who feel they were mistreated, correctly or incorrectly. But from 2014 to 2018 we had a 60% reduction in citizen internal affairs complaints filed against the department. Our officers understand that their priority is public service, and anyone found to have broken the public’s trust will be punished.”

In 2018, Bloomfield also saw a decrease in Part II crimes, including illegal possession of guns, Controlled Dangerous Substances, and DWIs. Parking and moving summonses are consistent with previous years. 

After operating without enough body cameras, the department made the financial investment to assign one to every officer, with the footage uploaded to a secure database at the conclusion of each shift. 

Director DeMaio cites community policing and police visibility in the community as the biggest reasons that crime has continued to come down. The Department organizes summer Youth Police Academies for Middle School and High School students each year, as well a six-week long Citizen Police Academies. Additionally, more community roll calls have been conducted to allow residents to learn about how Officers prioritize their duties during each shift. Events such as Coffee with a Cop continue to be successful.  

The next citizen police academy will begin February 12. The upcoming January 14 Third Ward community dialogue will feature a Neighborhood Watch Program Presentation by the Bloomfield Police Department at 7:00pm in the Carteret School Gymnasium. 

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